Art is a way to manage the pathos of loss. The rainbow. Art is often cited as arising in human evolution as a way for humans to organize/ grapple with/ control the chaos of the world. Being aware of death is our plight and art is an attempt to reverse and keep what we see, for all in nature is ephemeral, ripe with entropy, death and inevitable loss.
“But is it the same one?” asked Isabel of her rainbow drawing, really believing she’d snatched it from the sky and put it down on paper: preserving the feeling of awe that it inspired in her, a keepsake of that moment where she felt connected to her environs. Overcoming the anxiety that we have as conscious humans to be able to reflect but to be sorely at a loss in being severed from being and the beauty of being immersed in simply living. Art captures the objects that give us a feeling of immersion, and provides in the act of making a new opportunity to feel that sense of awe at nature, of forgetting oneself, of being immersed.
And here is the quote that intersected with Isabel’s comment to inspire this evening’s post: in The Alphabet Vs the Goddess, The conflict between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain, p.29: “all children recapitulate this evolutionary crossroad around the age of seven. They usually understand how babies originate about the same time they come to realize they will not live forever.”
But Isabel isn’t seven yet. And although she sometimes seems like a giant in the room with her character, she is definitely not that advanced (lol). She doesn't know she's going to die yet. She can't be making art to work through her anxiety over her own mortality. I’m going to contend for a more transcendental primary impulse to art making, not in a fashion to overcome our death and control the chaos of the world around us, but an attempt to retrieve, or keep, the fleeting moments of sublime beauty encountered in the day, the viewing of which might have sent a wave of awareness/ connectedness/ merging (not unlike psychotropics) through the humble poor human, evolved so smartly into self-awareness, but feeling so sharply the loss of unity with the universe, left behind evolutionarily in more primal animal states.
I walk around here all the time, my feet give the pattern and my mind wanders, I’m immersed, I’m in the landscape, I’m connected. It’s a big reason why I do our tastings only after dragging my guests through the landscape as well. They’ve had the chance for their mind to be opened, through prolonged exposure to sublime surroundings, and frankly, anything tastes good after that: I could be selling popsicles. But the amazing confluence of it being wine, a legendary substance that comes from that very landscape that gave the beat of meditation and immersion to our hike, well that’s a marriage of form and content that’s irreplicable.